A new evening unprecedented in an electoral campaign which is no less … 19 days before the US presidential election, Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, leading in the polls, will respond, on the evening of Thursday, October 15, live to questions from voters, but each on a different channel. This is the latest episode in a saga around the presidential debates triggered by the announcement that Donald Trump, 74, had fallen ill with Covid-19 on the 1ster October.
The Republican president will face voters for an hour in Florida Thursday night (8 p.m. local time, midnight GMT) on NBC, as his Democratic opponent undergoes the same type of exercise in his home state of Pennsylvania on a channel competitor, ABC. Two key states won by the Republican billionaire in 2016 and where Joe Biden, 77, now appears in the lead in the polls.
The former Democratic vice-president leads by nearly ten percentage points in the national average of the polls for the presidential election of November 3. But above all, albeit with a narrower margin, in the key states that make elections in the United States by switching from one party to another. Since Donald Trump is late, “he is the one who needs to change the momentum of this election. He needed the debates more than Biden, ”said David Canon, professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin, another of those crucial states. The president-candidate hopes to win a second term, although his country is at the confluence of three crises: health, economic and social. According to an NBC / WSJ poll released Thursday, 62% of American voters believe the country is heading in the “wrong direction.”
“Joe is toast”
Now restored, even saying he is “immune”, the American president found with delight the crowds on Monday. Florida, Pennsylvania, Iowa: he has had three meetings in three days. Particularly virulent against his opponent, Donald Trump accused Joe Biden of being “a corrupt politician” during a rally in Des Moines, Iowa. “He shouldn’t even be allowed to run as a candidate” for the White House, he tackled. “Joe is toast”, “Joe is out of his mind,” said Donald Trump, raising laughter in the crowd of his supporters. “If he wins, the radical left will rule the country. They are addicted to power, and God help us if they get it, ”said the Republican president.
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After a trip to Ohio on Monday and then to Florida on Tuesday, Barack Obama’s vice-president only had an online fundraiser on his agenda on Wednesday. As of last week, while he had not published a negative test, Donald Trump had refused to participate in the second debate, scheduled for Thursday, when the organizers announced that they would make it virtual as a precaution, in case where it would still be contagious. “I’m not going to waste my time,” he thundered.
Biden called for not following Trump’s ‘erratic behavior’
The shocking announcement of his diagnosis came less than three days after his first abrasive debate against Joe Biden. The two septuagenarians then clashed for 90 minutes on stage, while, in the room, those close to Donald Trump had removed their masks. Among them, Melania Trump had also subsequently tested positive. She announced Wednesday evening that their 14-year-old son Barron had also been affected by the virus but that he was now, like her, negative.
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Extremely cautious about the virus, even too much according to Republicans who accuse him of taking advantage of it to hide from voters, Joe Biden had refused to postpone the date of their second duel as proposed by the Trump team. No question of changing a long-established schedule to follow Donald Trump’s “erratic behavior”, the Biden team had launched. The third debate is still scheduled for October 22 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Expected “town halls”
On Thursday, Donald Trump and moderator Savannah Guthrie will respect social distancing and attendees who came to ask questions of the White House tenant will wear masks, NBC said. The Dr Anthony Fauci, one of the US government’s top coronavirus experts, said the president “is no longer transmitting infectious viruses,” the channel added.
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American political tradition, the “town hall” is a live television program during which a panel of voters, under the supervision of a moderator, questions a candidate. The audiences of these two meetings will be particularly awaited before being compared. For David Canon, there is no doubt: the “town hall” of stormy Donald Trump will attract more viewers. “People love drama. “